Dr. Barb Thomas, RES-FOR Project Lead

Associate Professor, NSERC Industrial Research Chair (Tree Improvement, Forest Genetics), Department of Renewable Resources

The research in Barb's lab is focused on answering primarily applied questions addressing challenges in tree improvement. This lab began in September 2014 with the task of developing eight projects in conjunction with the forest industry and provincial Government through an industrial research chair in tree improvement. Answers we are currently looking for include:

  1. Determining how to increase the seed yield in a high elevation lodgepole pine orchard and understanding the impact of parent origin on cone serotiny
  2. Understanding ecophysiological responses to drought stress to assist with selection of parents and progeny adapted to climate change (eg: drought)
  3. Evaluating the economic impact of the current tree improvement structure of recognizing genetic gain relative to fibre flow and corporate investments
  4. Understanding the underpinning of hybrid vigour in balsam poplar through disparate population breeding within a species.

More fundamental research interests include understanding the trade-offs in the distribution of trembling aspen on the landscape relative to gender and resource availability. This question is being addressed through phenotypic, ecophysiological and genomic assessments. Visit Dr. Thomas's tree improvement lab page for more information

Dr. Thomas's Current and Former Team Members:

Stacy Bergheim, RES-FOR Project Coordinator - December 2016 to Present
Dr. Xiaojing Wei, RES-FOR Postdoctoral Fellow - June 2017 to Present
Dr. Jaime Azcona, RES-FOR Postdoctoral Fellow - March 2019 to Present
Jana Bockstette, RES-FOR Technician - October 2018 to Present
Ryota Kawamura, Former RES-FOR Technician - February 2018 to January 2019
Jadine Lussier, Former RES-FOR Technician - March 2018 to October 2019
Laura Vehring, Former RES-FOR Technician - January 2017 to December 2017
Aaron Chen, Former RES-FOR Technician - August 2017 to December 2017
Erin Cawthorn, Former RES-FOR Summer Technician - May 2018 to August 2018
Jillian Dyck, Former RES-FOR Summer Technician - May 2017 to August 2017
Sarah Suzuk, Former RES-FOR Summer Technician - May 2017 to August 2017